Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
Wikipedia’s definition is decent and gets us part of the way there: “…clear, rational thinking involving critique.”
The “Critical Thinking Community” has a number of definitions, as one would expect. And I know maybe I’m not in much position to talk, but the clarity-to-word-count ratio runs a bit on the low side:
…the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action. In its exemplary form, it is based on universal intellectual values that transcend subject matter divisions: clarity, accuracy, precision, consistency, relevance, sound evidence, good reasons, depth, breadth, and fairness.
That makes people feel good when they belong in a Critical Thinking Community, I’m sure, but I’m inclined to believe that’s the primary point of coming up with this definition, which would tend to indicate it’s not helping us as we seek to DEFINE the term. It’s full of glurge which doesn’t define. It does not transform the subjective to the objective, which is one of the things definition is supposed to do. We would have to hunt down the author of it, with each specimen that may or may not be critical thinking, and ask him “Is this what you had in mind?” That means the job of defining remains undone.
Critical thinking must be critical. A good example of it would be: You’re at home and you receive a call, in the middle of the day, from very prestigious investment broker telling you about this amazing opportunity, they need the money right away if you want to go for it, be sure and keep it a secret because they only want a few people to have the opportunity…
Non critical thinking would be: They’re so prestigious! Who am I to doubt them? And: How could I get my hands on that amount of money before 5 p.m.? Critical thinking would be: If it’s such a great deal and you only want a few people to know about it, why do you need me? Why even tell me about it? Why not invest in it yourself? This meets the Wiki definition; it involves critique.
I would say it is making, or at least pursuing, a conclusive opinion based on the miscellany of available information left after one removes 1) observed evidence, 2) statements of fact & opinion from others and 3) personal biases. Within that residue, critical thinking consists of detecting apparent contradictions, and working to resolve them.
Saw in a comment under a blog post, of which I became aware over a year ago, a great generalized observation of critical thinking, and some of the problems we see with it…although this doesn’t actually use the term.
The fact that increasing sophistication of analysis often causes one to flip back and forth tells us that (1) we should be suspicious when our complicated tools allow us to return to what we wanted to believe anyways and (2) we should decrease our confidence in this process…since even at the highest levels of sophistication available we might expect yet higher levels to change our opinion.
Good advice, for a lot of people I’ve encountered who are a bit too sure of their opinions. You know the type: So much pre-canned data, and statistics, and ALL of it, every jot & tittle, enforces their own preconceived notions. Every speck, every smidgen. Now, this doesn’t apply just to liberals, they don’t have a monopoly on this problem, although doubtlessly they do have a lock on a sizable majority of the suffering from it.
To a liberal, critical thinking is nothing more than maintaining the feeling that that’s what one is doing.
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